Four Signs of Recovery From Alcohol and DrugsLet’s get one thing straight; recovery is about a lot more than just abstinence from alcohol and drugs. Don’t get me wrong; abstinence is great. But it is only the first prerequisite to entering a life of recovery. Recovery entails a restructuring of deeply held beliefs, a change in attitude and approach to life, and a reliance on some sort of higher power. The signs of recovery are not subtle, they often come swiftly and strongly when an individual fully engages in the spiritual program of action laid out in the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Smiling & Laughter – The recovered alcoholic laughs easily and often. Sometimes we laugh at things that aren’t entirely appropriate or may seem tragic to the non-recovered individual. This is not a cause for concern; we’ve just been through some dark places and are joyful to not be there anymore.
- Hugs – We hug people. Often against their will. In our addiction we tend to isolate from those who care about us, and society at large. So just think of hugging as our way of making up for lost time.
- God – We talk about God (higher power, spirit of the universe, etc.). Sometimes we talk about God a lot. It’s because we’re grateful and remember what our lives were like before we had a relationship with God.
- Concern for Others – The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous describes us as “selfish and self-centered to the core.” Part of this new way of life is learning that being of service to other alcoholics (and the world at large) is our primary purpose. So when we ask how you’re doing, or offer to help in some way, we really mean it.
These are by no means a comprehensive list of the signs of recovery. But I think it’s a pretty good start. Feel free to share yours!